Beta Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions for that early stage tech found somewhere between idea and traction
What is the name of the company and/or product?
What distinct problem does this solve for?
Needle exchanges is a public health service available in 33 states for individuals to swap used syringes for fresh ones. A lot of these services and programs are not well advertised or known. Haystak is reinventing access to public health services, making it easier and safer for anybody to find sterile syringe programs, while incorporating a feedback mechanism/rating system for more transparency.
How did you come up with the idea / what was your motivation for starting?
It started in our ‘Introduction to Entrepreneurship’ class at Macalester. The aha moment was combining a new pitch idea with our background in the Minnesota AIDS Project where we learned about the challenges people face with this aspect of their treatment. In talking with the locations that provide needle exchange, we realized this was was needed.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
We’re in the process of putting all the Minnesota locations online and then our plan is to broaden that to the Midwest and eventually nation wide.
Who is on the team?
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
We’re starting with WordPress because it’s the easiest way to get the site up and running the fastest and begin gathering feedback.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
The program is available in 33 states and over 170 cities offer them.
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
Right now, it’s very low cost for us to create Haystak. We recognize the need to become a sustainable service. Initially, we’ll probably do a crowdfunding campaign and add advertising or affiliate merchandise sales.
What is your greatest strength?
Our passion for the problem.
What is your biggest weakness?
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
Technology support — there’s a lot we’d like to do with the site if we had more software skills.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
A shoutout to MacStartups, they’ve been an amazing resource in a number of ways!